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Men jailed for attempting to steal Rolex watch worth £25k from Meadowhall jewellers

Two young men have been put behind bars for their part in a botched plot to steal a Rolex watch worth over 25,000 from a jewellers at Meadowhall.
Two young men have been put behind bars for their part in a botched plot to steal a Rolex watch worth over 25,000 from a jewellers at Meadowhall.
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Two young men have been put behind bars for their part in a botched plot to steal a Rolex watch worth over £25,000 from a jewellers at Meadowhall.

Nathanial Brown, 21, and his 18-year-old co-accused, Junior Ndlovu, travelled from Uxbridge in West London to Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre on April 30 this year with the intention of stealing a Rolex watch from a branch of Goldsmiths.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how shortly after entering the store alone at around 1.45pm, Brown approached a member of staff and asked to try on a gold Rolex watch priced at £25,550.

As the watch was brought out, staff noticed two males, one of whom was later found to be Ndlovu, loitering outside the shop.

"As soon as it was placed on his wrist, he stood up and ran from the shop. Security guards gave chase. Mr Ndlovu was heard to say: 'I'll get him,' before also giving chase," Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, told the court.

She added: "Mr Brown ran down the escalators, as he ran down he committed the offence of battery on a 60-year-old woman. He pushed her out of the way, causing her to fall down five steps and hit her head on the concrete."

The court heard how Brown and Ndlovu swapped watches at some point during the chase before making their way into the car park.

Brown was caught by security staff first without the watch. Ndlovu was caught second, with the Rolex watch being found underneath a nearby car.

The pair are believed to have caused approximately £3,500 - £5,000 damage to the watch during the chase.

Around a month before this incident, Ndlovu was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence for trying to steal a Rolex watch worth £27,650 from a Fraser Hart store in Stratford, London, in almost identical circumstances.

Brown, of Pocket Oak Lane, Uxbridge, West London pleaded guilty to offences of shop theft and battery at an earlier hearing, while Ndlovu, of Ryfield Avenue, Uxbridge, West London, pleaded guilty to offences of shop theft and breaching a suspended sentence order.

The second man seen loitering outside Goldsmiths has never been identified, the court heard.

Defending Brown, Paul Browning, told the court that Brown attempted to steal the watch in order to pay off rent arrears he had amassed, adding he should be given credit for his early guilty pleas and 'full and frank' admissions to the police.

Lucy Hogarth, defending Ndlovu, said the teenager had taken responsibility for his actions through his guilty pleas, and continued by telling the court how despite his difficult early years he had taken a 'commendable' course of action by securing work as a carer and his own accommodation aged just 18.

Judge Michael Slater sentenced Ndlovu to 12-months in a Young Offenders' Institute and jailed Brown for eight-months.